In this issue, Leia and her accomplice Evaan begin seeking out and gathering up the remaining Alderaanians. While they are doing this, Leia has flashbacks to discussions she had with her father before the destruction of their home planet. In one of these scenes, her father explains what is important about their culture.
The galaxy knows Alderaan as “The Planet of Beauty.” Nature, poetry, philosophy, art couture, cuisine—we freely share with all. But the temptation to belligerence can never be erased. Our ruler—one day, you—must struggle to keep the culture focused on creativity, love, and life. Whatever happens, Leia… you must keep Alderaan alive.
What I love about this passage is that it emphasizes how critical art is in defining a culture. When I see the rampant cuts to the arts in our present education system, it saddens me because I know that this is detrimental to the advancement of our society. As a geek and nerd, I appreciate science and technology, but science and technology without beauty and art is something cold and lifeless. There must be both for a culture to thrive.